WASHINGTON - President Bush commuted the sentence of former aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Monday, sparing him from a 2 1/2-year prison term in the CIA leak case.This of course is no surprise. Bush had nothing to lose by commuting Libby's sentence and risked losing some of the 26% who still support him if he didn't. Is it an outrage? Of course, but what does the Bush administration do that isn't.
Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation for Libby, according to a senior White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision had not been announced.
"My decision to commute his prison sentence leaves in place a harsh punishment for Mr. Libby. The reputation he gained through his years of public service and professional work in the legal community is forever damaged," Bush said in a statement. "I respect the jury's verdict. But I have concluded that the prison sentence given to Mr. Libby is excessive."
I hadn't even thought of this but Digby reminds us just how convenient this is:
So Bush did it. The bastard commuted little Scooter's sentence, leaving the conviction in place. I'm not a lawyer, but I have to assume that this means he can still appeal --- which means he can still take the fifth if the congress calls him to to testify. Very convenient.